Lite98, Parent Talk
April 17, 2013
Liz Pearce, Director of Parent Engagement
Children’s Museum of Richmond
If you are the parent of a junior or senior in high school, you are likely knee deep in decisions with your teen about what to do after high school. Work? College? Technical School? All three are valid paths to a successful adulthood, and you, as parent, are in the home stretch of day to day parenting. It’s a stressful time for everyone involved, but you will survive! As you consider the journey ahead, consider these points:
You may be paying for it, but they will be going to it. Regardless of which path is chosen, your child (soon to be an adult) is the one who will be setting off on the adventure. Your adventures are on a completely different trajectory. Consider upgrading your communication software (also known as Skype)
Practice your standard response for the grocery store, Friday night cook out or ball field. When you run into Nosy Nellie who is trying to pry information out of you, it’s easy to start getting anxious about your child’s post-high school choices. Flash a big grin and announce, “This is such an exciting time, isn’t it? Can you believe they’ve grown up so fast?” and Move ON.
Support your child through the testing and application process. The pressure to succeed intensifies during the second semester of junior year through January of senior year. Teachers and guidance counselors are doing their best to help your child across the finish line, but it can really make your teen feel like they are living in a fish bowl. Throw in a few 5 hour standardized tests at 8 AM on Saturday mornings and you’ve got a prickly, irritable teen on your hands. Give them space, when you can.
Utilize all of your best organizational skills. Deadlines, applications, online registrations, parent meetings, school ceremonies – it can get overwhelming. Keep lists, use your smartphone, post a calendar – just pick a system and stick to it.
So… freak out in private, or at least limit the amount of freak-outs in front of your child. Find a friend and share all your worries and anxieties with them. Your child is counting on you to be the calm one during this process. They are the ones who are supposed to be anxious, remember?
You can do this, I know you can!